Mrinal Sen's Hindi short film posted by son on YouTube
Kunal Sen, son of acclaimed director Mrinal Sen, has decided to post on YouTube one of the 12 short films made by his father as part of a Doordarshan series telecast in the late 1980s. He converted a low-resolution VHS copy of the film to a format that can be viewed on YouTube. The original magnetic tapes were in the custody of Calcutta Doordarshan.
Someone reused the tapes and they were apparently lost: Kunal
"Unfortunately soon after the initial telecast, someone decided to reuse those tapes to record some other program and they were apparently lost," Kunal wrote on Facebook. Kunal, who lives in the United States, said on Tuesday that he was posting on YouTube Das Saal Baad, starring veteran actors Aparna Sen and Girish Karnad. It is amongst the 12 short films of the series.
Each independent short film is about 22 minutes in length
"During 1986-87 my father made a series of 12 short films. The series was called Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas. Each episode was an independent short film, about 22 minutes in length," he wrote. "Since we were not living in Calcutta then, my father sent me a low-resolution VHS copy of some of these short films," he added.
Here is what Kunal posted on Facebook
No word from 'Doordarshan' on status of these films: Kunal
Kunal informed that he had been sent VHS copies of some of the 12 short films directed by his late father so that those interested could watch them as there had been no word from Doordarshan on the status of these films.
I'm not sure if I am infringing copyright laws: Kunal
Referring to the copyright issue, Kunal said, "I am not sure if I am infringing copyright laws. If someone can convince me that I am, then I promise to take it down." "Until then, I am putting it up on YouTube so that those who are interested can watch some of these films," he added.
Here are the other short films in the series
Apart from Das Saal Baad, the other short films in the series are Aajnabi, Shawl, Saalgira, Aajkal, Aina, Ravivar, Jit, Swayamvar, Kabhi Door Kabhi Paas, and Aparajit. The series had been commissioned by an ad agency and funded by a shoe major.
Fans, film enthusiasts expressed happiness over Kunal's decision
Kunal said, "One unique aspect of the series is that most of them deal with man-woman relationships, a subject that the filmmaker rarely focused on." A large number of Mrinal Sen's fans and film enthusiasts expressed happiness over his son's decision and said, "Left to Doordarshan the priceless works would never have seen the light of day."
DD authorities will look into the issue: Official
A Doordarshan Kendra Kolkata official said, "The DD authorities will look into the issue and try to see if the tapes are still available and in what condition. We'll also try to find out a way to convert the magnetic tapes into a new format."